SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, William Schmarzo

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

An In-Depth Look At The Zend Certified Engineer (ZCE) Certification

The ZCE, or Zend Certified Engineer, is based on the popular PHP language from Zend, the PHP company

Welcome to my first installment as a LinuxWorld Magazine writer. I'm taking over from my colleague Rob Jones and I hope to continue on the same track of providing information on certifications, as well as discussing the nuances in the Linux/Open Source recruiting landscape.

For this article, I decided to focus on one of the relatively new Open Source certifications that are permeating the marketplace: the ZCE, or Zend Certified Engineer, based on the popular PHP language from Zend, the PHP company. As the use of PHP in the enterprise grows, it's only natural that certification go along with it, as with ZCE.

Since it's less than a year old, I decided to take a different approach than in the past. I figured it would be best to go directly to the source of the most accurate information on it and its relevance in the marketplace. So I did a brief e-mail interview with Daniel Kushner, director of education at Zend.

LWM: How long has the exam been in existence?
DK:
Since July 26, 2004. We launched the program at OSCON 2004.

LWM: What is the number of ZCEs now?
DK:
Around 400. There's a high rate of adoption in the enterprise that's starting to use the Zend PHP Certification in the recruitment process.

LWM: What is their breakdown of location? How many in the U.S., Europe, etc?
DK:
Back-of-the-envelope calculations would be approximately 40% U.S., 45% Europe, and 15% ROW.

LWM: What is the pass rate of the people that take the exam?
DK:
Around 85%. This number is dropping as we emerge out of the early adopter stage. I expect it to reach 80% and then level off.

LWM: What is the amount of experience that you recommend for someone looking to take the exam?
DK:
At least a year of daily PHP development. The exam tests real-world experience. Books, training, and cramming aren't enough to pass the exam and can't replace hands-on.

LWM: Do you advise people to buy the study guide?
DK:
Definitely. Not only as a study guide, but to learn the important elements in the PHP language that you might not use on a daily basis or don't know about. This is what I hear again and again from professional PHP developers.

LWM: Do you happen to have any data that suggests the difference in salaries for people with the certification as opposed to without it?
DK:
I don't have specific data, but on a recent survey I did with current ZCEs, at least 25% noticed a salary/revenue increase directly related to the Zend PHP Certification.

LWM: Is it strictly a multiple-choice exam? If not, what else is involved?
DK:
On the multiple-choice questions we specify the number of correct answers. So, for example, if there's a question where three choices are correct, the candidates will be specifically asked to mark three answers. There are about 12% open-text questions. These are usually one-four word answers that are graded automatically by the testing engine. Open-text questions are normally about function names, code output, and variable types.

LWM: Where is the exam administered?
DK:
Zend partnered with Pearson VUE to deliver the Zend PHP Certification at 8,000 test centers worldwide. Using a secure, reliable, and high-performance infrastructure, VUE handles most test delivery. We also provide paper-based exams at various conferences. Upcoming conferences would be php|works (www.phparch.com/phpworks/), and the Zend PHP Conference (http://zend.kbconferences.com/).

LWM: Do you plan on having any follow-on certification to the ZCE? Perhaps something that would encompass other parts of the LAMP stack?
DK:
We're currently discussing the possibility of an advanced-level certification. This would be a natural extension of the current certification program. With regard to a LAMP stack certification, there are other entities that are looking into this. I'm in contact with them, and the Zend PHP Certification will the "P" in LAMP.

As a result of being able to get much of the core information about the ZCE, we wanted to go "to the street" to get the viewpoint of a company that has compensated its employees to get the ZCE. I wanted to find out firsthand why this company felt that it was necessary to have its developers obtain this certification. Gregory Stoltz, CTO of Direct Response Technologies, was kind enough to take time out of his schedule to have an e-mail chat with us about why it's so important. This is what he told us:

LWM: Could you tell me about your work/development environment and why the Zend certification was important?
GS:
Our company provides a number of hosted solutions to our clients. All of these solutions are built on a solid LAMP platform and PHP is at the core of all of the software we create and support. Our company has had large-scale PHP-based applications in production for over eight years and having a qualified and motivated team is vital to our success.

More Stories By Brent Marinaccio

Brent Marinaccio has been with HotLinuxJobs since its inception in early 2000. HotLinuxJobs is a recruiting firm that specializes in the placement of Linux/Open Source professionals. As director of open source recruiting, Brent has gained considerable insight in the subtleties of recruiting in the Open Source world.

Comments (3)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Latest Stories
Intel is an American multinational corporation and technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in the Silicon Valley. It is the world's second largest and second highest valued semiconductor chip maker based on revenue after being overtaken by Samsung, and is the inventor of the x86 series of microprocessors, the processors found in most personal computers (PCs). Intel supplies processors for computer system manufacturers such as Apple, Lenovo, HP, and Dell. Intel also manufactu...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve fu...
Wasabi is the hot cloud storage company delivering low-cost, fast, and reliable cloud storage. Wasabi is 80% cheaper and 6x faster than Amazon S3, with 100% data immutability protection and no data egress fees. Created by Carbonite co-founders and cloud storage pioneers David Friend and Jeff Flowers, Wasabi is on a mission to commoditize the storage industry. Wasabi is a privately held company based in Boston, MA. Follow and connect with Wasabi on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and the Wasabi blog...
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
The dream is universal: heuristic driven, global business operations without interruption so that nobody has to wake up at 4am to solve a problem. Building upon Nutanix Acropolis software defined storage, virtualization, and networking platform, Mark will demonstrate business lifecycle automation with freedom of choice and consumption models. Hybrid cloud applications and operations are controllable by the Nutanix Prism control plane with Calm automation, which can weave together the following: ...
Inzata is a powerful, revolutionary data analytics platform for integrating, exploring, and analyzing data of any kind, from any source, at massive scale. Powerful AI-assisted Modeling and a patented analytics engine help users quickly load, blend and model raw and unstructured data into powerful enterprise data models, actionable real-time analytics and engaging visualizations. Go beyond spreadsheets and slides and compose a powerful narrative about how your business is performing, and how y...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO Silicon Valley 2019 will cover all of these tools, with the most comprehensive program and with 222 rockstar speakers throughout our industry presenting 22 Keynotes and General Sessions, 250 Breakout Sessions along 10 Tracks, as well as our signature Power Panels. Our Expo Floor will bring together the leading global 200 companies throughout the world of Cloud Computing, DevOps, IoT, Smart Cities, FinTech, Digital Transformation, and all they entail. As ...
Lori MacVittie is a subject matter expert on emerging technology responsible for outbound evangelism across F5's entire product suite. MacVittie has extensive development and technical architecture experience in both high-tech and enterprise organizations, in addition to network and systems administration expertise. Prior to joining F5, MacVittie was an award-winning technology editor at Network Computing Magazine where she evaluated and tested application-focused technologies including app secu...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, discussed the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docker c...
Only Adobe gives everyone - from emerging artists to global brands - everything they need to design and deliver exceptional digital experiences. Adobe Systems Incorporated develops, markets, and supports computer software products and technologies. The Company's products allow users to express and use information across all print and electronic media. The Company's Digital Media segment provides tools and solutions that enable individuals, small and medium businesses and enterprises to cre...
In today's always-on world, customer expectations have changed. Competitive differentiation is delivered through rapid software innovations, the ability to respond to issues quickly and by releasing high-quality code with minimal interruptions. DevOps isn't some far off goal; it's methodologies and practices are a response to this demand. The demand to go faster. The demand for more uptime. The demand to innovate. In this keynote, we will cover the Nutanix Developer Stack. Built from the foundat...
Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throughout enterprises of all sizes. We are offering early bird savings...
Daniel Jones is CTO of EngineerBetter, helping enterprises deliver value faster. Previously he was an IT consultant, indie video games developer, head of web development in the finance sector, and an award-winning martial artist. Continuous Delivery makes it possible to exploit findings of cognitive psychology and neuroscience to increase the productivity and happiness of our teams.
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO Silicon Valley 2019 will cover all of these tools, with the most comprehensive program and with 222 rockstar speakers throughout our industry presenting 22 Keynotes and General Sessions, 250 Breakout Sessions along 10 Tracks, as well as our signature Power Panels. Our Expo Floor will bring together the leading global 200 companies throughout the world of Cloud Computing, DevOps, IoT, Smart Cities, FinTech, Digital Transformation, and all they entail.
Eric Taylor, a former hacker, reveals what he's learned about cybersecurity. Taylor's life as a hacker began when he was just 12 years old and playing video games at home. Russian hackers are notorious for their hacking skills, but one American says he hacked a Russian cyber gang at just 15 years old. The government eventually caught up with Taylor and he pleaded guilty to posting the personal information on the internet, among other charges. Eric Taylor, who went by the nickname Cosmo...